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10 tips for landing a job

By Blanche Pearsall with Jennifer McClure

1. Network within the industry. Stay connected with people in your chosen industry. Encourage them to tell you of a job opening. Part-time or temporary jobs may bring full-time opportunities.

2. Keep your cover letter short. In the first line, identify the job you seek. Briefly list your qualifications that match specific requirements in the job description.

3. Make the best use of technology. If you submit a résumé, call the company to ensure it was received. If you apply via e-mail, put your name in the subject line (i.e., Subject: John Doe Résumé) so it can be tracked. Keep your answering machine or voicemail message professional and positive.

4. Make follow-up calls. Contact an employer once a week after submitting a résumé. By week four, it’s probably time to look elsewhere. After an interview, ask when you can expect to hear from the company. If you haven’t heard anything by the appointed time, wait one more day before calling. Ask if a decision has been made and if they’d like additional information.

5. Be flexible. If a representative calls with a suggested time for an interview, say “yes” even if you have to cancel plans to make it work.

6. Make a list of your non-negotiable items. This can include having Sundays off or a minimum salary. If the pay is not disclosed in the job description, don’t bring up money in the first interview. However, when contacted for scheduling the interview, you could ask the representative to disclose the compensation range, but be sure to note that you’re flexible.

7. Prepare yourself. Always research the company. Come to the interview well-groomed, rested and dressed professionally. Avoid excessive jewelry, perfume or cologne or an attention-grabbing hairdo. These can distract the interviewer from getting to know you.

8. Be positive. Positive thinking helps a potential employer to see you at your best. List your blessings before an interview. Believe you will find the right position.

9. Acknowledge your job history. If poor decisions were made or if your job history lacks long-term employment, consider questions employers may ask and write down your answers to ensure clear responses. Be prepared to explain how you have developed yourself.

10. List your questions. Employers often ask if candidates have any questions. You might ask, “How will my performance evaluations be structured?” or “After one year, what will make you say you’re glad you hired me?”


BLANCHE PEARSALL is president and CEO of DEDICATED Professional Resources, Inc., a human resource company based in North Carolina that provides consulting and services for both employers and job seekers. JENNIFER McCLURE is assistant editor of Today’s Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Going Up? (jmcclure.agblogger.org).

E-mail your comments to tpe@ag.org.

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